Year 13s at Greig City Academy N8 attended an in-house RE conference last week. The aim of WISE UP is to promote critical thinking and discernment, to equip students with the knowledge and skills to detect predatory behaviors, undue influence, coercive control and to enable them to safeguard themselves from manipulation and preserve their freedom of mind. The course debunked the myth that recruitment and radicalization is something that happens to fools, neurotics or people who are markedly different in some way and reminded students that under the right circumstances, anybody can become vulnerable to a recruiter’s technique, especially if they are unaware of recruitment methods and unfamiliar with the often subtle psychological processes used to change their belief system.

Year 13 students were thoroughly engaged throughout the entire program and will be issued with certificates next month.

Their reviews included the following comments:

“I learned about predatory techniques and realised that they are most effective when used subtly by an experienced recruiter on an unsuspecting target.”

“It is surprising how susceptible people are, (even intellectuals,) to love bombing and grooming, especially during times of transition or instability.”

“The play at the end was an eye opener, it was highly entertaining, yet a very serious representation of how recruitment processes are used by cults and extremists in real life.”

“We learned how to spot smooth operators,  how predators approach their prey.”

“I learned about things I never imagined.  I  think I am more able to spot users and feel more manipulation proof now.”